In the vegan foodie world, going to Mildreds in London seems to be a right of passage, or some kind of requirement. You have to go – it’s what everybody says when the question of “Where can I go out to eat in London?” is asked. So, naturally, that’s where I went myself last time I was in London. The pure number of recommendations, as well as a healthy TripAdvisor score, meant it absolutely had to be checked out.
Now, Mildreds is actually a almost… mini ‘chain’ now in London, in that it has more than one branch. There’s three, actually – one on Soho, one in Kings Cross, and one in Camden. We went to the one in Soho because it was the closest to where we were staying, but it’s also the branch where you can’t book. You remember all those people I mentioned that had recommended it? Yeah – don’t go out for a prime dinner time slot at the Soho branch if you’re in a bit of a hurry. Book in at Kings Cross and have an allocated time (just saying).
So, why all the fuss? You ask. Well, for a start Mildreds restaurant is completely 100% vegetarian. And I’d say about… 90%? 95%? Vegan. As in, there are multiple, different items to choose from – for every course! That’s so rare! Usually at an Indian restaurant it’s “Which sauce do I want?” and at a Mexican “How do I want my roasted vegetables, in a burrito or enchilada?”
But oh no, not at Mildreds – vegans, rejoice! Fancy a burger? They have two! More in the mood for a curry? They have a Sri Lankan one. Or maybe you want something more traditional, like sausages and mash? Yup, you got it – they have that too!
As I said, book or be relaxed
I mentioned it earlier, but I’ll restate it: you can’t book ahead for the Soho branch. It’s clearly stated everywhere, but just in case – you just turn up and queue. In our case, we waited for two hours. It was prime time on a Friday though, and I was prepared to wait if the food – and packed out restaurant – were anything to go by!
They had a number system in place when we arrived – you waited for the server, who gave you an estimated time (ours was an hour and a half) and a card with a number on it. Like bingo, I guess. We passed the time at the very busy bar, enjoying vegan wine and vegan beers and people watching.
What did we have?
Relaxed (and tipsy) though we were – there was no denying that by the time our table was free, we were two very hungry people! We’d also been walking around London all day earlier, so we’d worked up our appetites too!
Initially, I think I tried to order some bread and oil but they were completely out of bread, apart from the ones for soup and burgers, so we had to have a quick rethink and instead decided to try the gyoza dumplings with sweet chilli sauce between us. Turns out – I’m very glad they were out of fresh bread. The dumplings were delicious – well seasoned vegetables inside, and the sweet chilli sauce was extraordinary. We polished them off in about.. two minutes. If that!
For mains, my OH surprised me completely by not ordering a burger – I just kind of thought that he would, for some reason. Or maybe the Mexican dish on the menu! But he tried the Sri Lankan sweet potato curry (served with roasted lime cashews, pea basmati rice and coconut tomato samba).
I sneaked a bit of each (I asked first, so maybe sneaking is the wrong adjective here!) and it was very good. The coconut curry sauce was gorgeous, the samba was a great contrast, and he didn’t hesitate to clear the bowl clean.
I went for the most recommended items on the menu: a Polish burger, with Vegan cheese, and a side of sweet potato fries. The fries are supposed to come with chipotle ketchup or (vegan) basil mayo but I asked if I could have a half portion of each so I could try both, but our waitress kindly just let me have both (at regular size). Chip dipping win!
Ladies and gentlemen. This burger was hands down the best burger I have tried since going plant based. In fact, it’s up there with the best burgers ever. The dill in the burger comes through beautifully, without being overpowering. The texture of the bean patty is downright meaty in its bite- without being gross. You just don’t sink right through as if you’ve eaten an overcooked sweet potato, if you know what I mean.
And – speaking of sweet potatoes. The sweet potato fries are also of epic standard. I originally offered to share them with Adam but… I think he got two? Maybe three? Fries. The rest went into the sauces and then into my belly!
For dessert, we really wanted to try the most recommended item on the dessert menu – chocolate peanut butter brownie with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream, but the idea of eating any more food was just not even possible. My stomach was so full it was just like… nah. Nope. Non. Nao. It didn’t help that the portion looked pretty massive too, so even if I could of managed a bite or two, Adam would of been left with more than he could handle too!
So instead of ordering dessert we got cocktails! I’d heard great things about the ‘Turkish rose’ cocktail so we both go those. It was a very nice, but not 100% my cup of tea cocktail to rank up there with my favourite. Still, a very good cocktail though and I loved the rose petals on the top!
I was raving about this burger for the entire journey back to our hotel. And still for days after. Partly, this is because Mildreds was the first time we’d managed to go out for a really good Vegan meal so they relief that such place existed was very much fresh in my mind! But the food was genuinely amazing – there’s a reason it’s so highly recommended. And I do also recommend the Polish burger, if you go (which you totally should).
I admit I was a little miffed that my burger didn’t come with any fries as standard (especially since I was ravenous) but to be honest that’s also not unusual – both Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Handmade Burger Co have the same deal with all sides coming at an additional – and, if I hadn’t of been so hungry the burger would of been enough. Or I would of had room for dessert!
Would we return?
I’m literally trying to find a spare weekend in my diary when we can go back and try a different branch. I’ll probably still get the Polish burger though because… I think I’m a bit in love.